Jam Master Jay: Feds Won’t Pursue Death Penalty For Killing

The Run-DMC co-founder was gunned down in Queens in 2002, but two assailants were arrested in 2020.

The two men accused of killing hip hop legend Jam Master Jay in a 2002 will not face the death penalty if convicted, according to court documents.

The New York Post reports that federal prosecutors won’t pursue a death sentence if the two men are found guilty at their upcoming trial.

Karl Jordan and Ronald Washington are accused of conspiring to kill the Run-DMC co-founder and turntablist at his recording studio over a drug deal gone bad. Jordan allegedly fatally shot Jay while Washington is charged with conspiracy, although he didn’t pull the trigger himself.

RELATED: Two Arrested For Murder Of Hip-Hop Pioneer Jam Master Jay

On Saturday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland “has authorized and directed” Brooklyn federal prosecutors “not to seek the death penalty against defendants Karl Jordan, Jr. and Ronald Washington,” prosecutors wrote in a brief letter to a federal judge.

The suspects, rather, are facing life in prison if convicted. A trial date is pending.

Jordan and Washington, who were arrested last year, reportedly buzzed through security with one of them subsequently hugging Jay, born Jason Mizell, before gunfire erupted.

One round missed, however a second was fired at point blank range into his head, killing him. Law enforcement has gone on record revealing that at least four other men were in the studio with Jay.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive newsletters, marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. For more information about our data practices, consult our Privacy Policy.